Sensible Small Boat Cruising


Sensible Small Boat Cruising

A group to discuss cruising in small boats. (25-36 feet). That's not set in stone, but I'm partial to that kind of cruising.

Members: 109
Latest Activity: Feb 19, 2015

Discussion Forum

Chesapeake Bay Sailing Destinations

Started by Bill Creadon. Last reply by Captain Ron Jan 5, 2011. 2 Replies


Started by Rodger Cooper. Last reply by Fat Cat Anna ~~~ \\^^// ~~~ Feb 13, 2010. 6 Replies

Swinging Instrument Holder for Companionway

Started by John Storring. Last reply by John Storring Jan 21, 2010. 10 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Richard on May 11, 2008 at 10:01pm
Thanks for joining and contributing to the group, Bob.
Comment by Bob on May 10, 2008 at 9:50pm
I love to sail small sailboats and just found the seaKnot site. Maybe this is a good place to introduce myself a little. Look like an old man but feel like I am much younger than 58 most of the time. Have owned two sailboats in my lifetime. The first was a 25' sloop made by Watkins, which I sailed, motored, and gunkholed up and down the east coast of the US and throughout the Northern Bahamas mostly by myself. Seems like I had a million great experiences and a few less than great. Running aground is a great teaching experience and I had my share. Most of the time this happened because I just had to go places where the water was "skinny" and the charts stated "un-charted or un-marked". Spent over a month exploring the Bight of Abaco which taught me even more about that small boat with the 2 1/2 ft draft and an 8hp outboard. Had the chance to get another (small) boat in 2002 and by 2003 I found my Westsail 32 headed for Bermuda and beyond. My life has never been the same since that day.

Would love to exchange stories with other sailors whether you are a much older and more experienced "salt" than me or from those that think this crazy life might be something for them in the future.

Guess this was a long introduction but when you are a "single hander" you have lots of time to talk and write, you just don't alway get answers right away.


S/V Journey
Comment by debbie on May 6, 2008 at 11:45pm
hi all, i live on my cal 34 and want to go for a very long cruise someday-sooner than later, sensible is a word i should be more familiar with!
Comment by Richard on May 5, 2008 at 7:03pm
Read your profile and your comment about your SeaKnot member number being the same as your sail # reminds me of a similar coincidence...

When I was in Isla Mujeres I needed to cash some Traveler's Checks. I went to the Barclay's where I had to fill out a form for each of the five checks I endorsed. On each check I had to put down my passport #. The middle four numbers 6628 rang a bell with me, a mathematical dyslexic, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the connection could be. I knew it wasn't part of any telephone number I'd ever had, nor did it belong to anyone I used to call a lot. I'd never had a street address of 6628, either.

I took my freshly acquired pesos and went off to have a good meal.Returning to my boat in my dinghy the registration number of my pretty Nancy Dawson leaped off the bow. In bright white numerals against the fire-engine red hull it read 6628!
Comment by Dave on April 27, 2008 at 12:47am
Rich, I say, some folks ~will~ go to extremes to clean the inside of the dingy, eh ? LOL
Got to try that sometime...............
Comment by Richard on April 26, 2008 at 11:15pm
Regarding dingies, what's yours? Hard, Inflatible, Nesting? I really like the idea of a nesting dinghy for my next boat.

My last dinghy was a hard-bottom Avon and the 8 hp Suzuki did double service as main power for the mothership and to power the dinghy along at a nice planing speed.

She towed just great. I never towed it with the o/b attached though.

My best memory of towing it, and there was absolutely no name attached to it, was when I left Cozumel headed south to the Bahia de la Ascencion. As usual I would take a salt water bath at the end of the afternoon rinsing off with fresh water afterwards. As I'm sure you all know Joy dishwashing detergent is the soap of choice for salt water and that's what I use.

I took my bath, made dinner and when everything was cleaned up and the sun was setting I raised anchor and motored to the south end of the island before I got enough wind to raise the sails.

As the dawn brightened and I was sailing along at nearly 6 kts through the water, I looked back and saw an enormous cloud where the dinghy should have been. It only took me a couple of seconds to realize that I'd left the Joy in the dinghy with the cap off. Throughout the night the soap had dribbled out of the bottle, spray from the dinghy being towed into the slight chop would come over the side and the bouncing up and down of the dinghy acted as a giant blender and made an enormous cloud of soap bubbles. Huge chunks would be torn from the heap and were strung out nearly to the horizon in a line like ducklings following their mother.

The one big problem was stowing it aboard. The only place it would fit was between the very end of the bowsprit and a couple of inches just forward of the mast, and in order to fit there the pontoons had to be deflated to fit between the life lines. It also lowered the bow deeper into the water by a couple of inches but it didn't seem to effect performance in any way.

With the dinghy in that position it was awkward to climb over it in order to get forward and change headsails. On the other hand, it came in handy when I did change the jibs because I'd just leave the sheets attached and stuff the unused sail under the dinghy until it was ready to be used again.

Perhaps should start a little discussion about the pros and cons of hank-on vs roller furling. To be honest I go for the hank-on. The rollers on the furling gear is just another evil spirit waiting to let you down at a critical moment.
Comment by Capt V on April 21, 2008 at 9:08pm
I just read a comment from the 3rd of April. Actually, there are many small boats that would make great deep sea cruisers. Not to mantion the boats that can be purchased for very little and strengthen for offshore. It all depends on weather you have time or money. There are many British and Scandinavian built boats that would do besides the many choices from the US. Dave Martin had a cal 25 fixed up, there was another young man who made a 3/4 circumnav in a pearson commander, and the list goes on and on. I have an Aloha 32, and an Albin Vega 27. While I love the Aloha 32, My preference goes to the Albin. But I have an Admiral to keep happy.
Comment by Richard on April 14, 2008 at 7:20pm
Welcome Ron, and thanks for contributing to the group. As it has been stated before, Lake Michigan Ain't No River.
Comment by Captain Ron on April 12, 2008 at 9:59pm
I once believed that sailing on a lake was for novice sailors. That was before i have been on Lake Mead with:
1. Wind changing direction 180 degrees without warning.
2. Winds funneled through canyons and coves are accelerated from more than just a gust.
3. Winds of 21 MPH or greater (=/> 21 MPH = "WINDY" by Weather Forecaster) forecasts usually mean 30-35 MPH.
4. Waves bounce back from high wall of the canyon like shore line to provide a confused water condition (Chop).

Have been out in Gale force winds on Lake Mead with my Mac 26X with only the working jib up and when nowhere save for keeping my bow off the wind.

No, if you can sail Lake Mead in rough weather you can sail anywhere.
Comment by Richard on April 12, 2008 at 12:46pm
Mike, while primarily for blow boaters, I wouldn't kick you out because you consume vast amounts of fossil fuel.

Personally, I LIKE going fast on the water. As long as someone else is footing the bill. Working in the offshore oil industy for quite a few years running crew boats I had some fast craft. One that I ran was a 47' aluminum boat with a pair of 892's and I'm telling you it was a screamer. I bet it topped out at around 50 mph. But on my own dime I'll let the wind take me where it will.

I did the "LOOP" in '74 & '75. In '74 in my first captain's gig I took a 42' Hatteras tri-cabin from Burnham Harbor, Chicago and ran the lengths of lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie, out the Erie Canal, down the Hudson and outside to Norfolk. I ran from Norfolk to Fort Lauderdale single-handed. And let me add, that the boat, with a pair of 653s was a real SLUG!

In '75 I was hired by a young couple to help take their Outhouse 51 (oops I mean Out Island 51) to Fort Lauderdale from Chicago. We left from Burnham Harbor again and went down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers (no Tom Bigby then) and ended up at Bahia Mar the same as the previous year.

I'd do the Erie Canal again. It was a nice ride, especially once you got into the Mohawk River. It was fall and the leaves were turning. Enjoyed it very much.

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